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Photobucket
January 26, 2004 7:55 AM   Subscribe

Photobucket.com A free place to dump pictures you want to hotlink from sites like eBay, Craigslist, or even your personal site. There is a 100MB limit, but even that isn't absolute. This seems like a too good to be true service, how long can something like this last?
posted by jonah (22 comments total)

 
how long can something like this last?

Now that it's on MeFi, I'd give it 20 minutes.
posted by SiW at 8:18 AM on January 26, 2004


If the headline can be believed, it says that it is already serving 16 million pictures a day. I don't think MeFi would gum it up that much.
posted by jonah at 8:23 AM on January 26, 2004


I know, I just couldn't resist the opportunity. It does look like a good service from a well-meaning guy, thanks for the heads-up. I'd personally avoid using it for anything of my own and stick to using it for eBay pics and avatars etc., just because I'm nervous of sites that could suddenly decide they own everything I've uploaded - the terms say he reserves the right to change the terms at any time, and no matter how nice this guy is, if someone waved a bunch of cash at him for the service and he sold up, the new owners might not be so nice.
posted by SiW at 8:39 AM on January 26, 2004


Maybe he is looking for some free porn... or the next goatse.cx...

I wonder what kind of privacy policy he has in place.

Personally, I would love to be able to surf through a candid library of millions of personal pictures.
posted by LoopSouth at 9:08 AM on January 26, 2004


I like seeing services like these. He's got a 2.5 gigabyte monthly limit per user. I think this will probably have to go down in order to keep it a donor supportable model. If one or two people hit the 2.5 G limit then it's probably workable but if fark or similar sites publicize images hosted by them then he could end up with more bandwidth being used than he can pay for.

It also probably depends on how thick his skin is too. If he has to modify the terms of service then there are people who will complain about this - loudly - despite the fact that it's free and this right was listed in the terms of service.
posted by substrate at 9:09 AM on January 26, 2004


what's in it for him?
posted by quonsar at 9:56 AM on January 26, 2004


What's in it for him? If he gets a whole lot of traffic, and a ton of users, he can eventually publicize those numbers and sell the service to a someone with a whole bunch of cash - same story as hotmail. Free online email. Free image hosting.
posted by tomplus2 at 10:12 AM on January 26, 2004


pbase.com had a similar policy, but soon found the need to charge for storage. But you can still browse through many galleries that still exist on the site.
posted by canucklehead at 10:25 AM on January 26, 2004


sell the service to a someone with a whole bunch of cash

uh huh. and this person with a whole lot of cash, what do they get out of it?
posted by quonsar at 10:36 AM on January 26, 2004


the pleasure of doing a good deed, q ; >
(it's a ready-made market to sell photo-related stuff--better cameras, photo paper, lenses,etc--no?)
posted by amberglow at 10:59 AM on January 26, 2004


The storage limit is good. And I e-mailed him to confirm his his link URLs don't expire (PhotoIsland, for example, expires all its URLs after three months):
NO WAY!!! I never delete pictures ( unless its porn ), therefore the links will work indefinately.

Many people say this is all too good to be true. Its not, I am a real person behind this site and I enjoy providing it to people that need a place for image storage, as there isn't a good one out there. I just rely on donations to help out my huge bandwidth costs every month
;-)

I fund and run this site and am planning on having it around for a long time. Its a really fun project. Enjoy...
Quick response, very nice.
posted by Shane at 11:43 AM on January 26, 2004


If it turns out that the voluntary contribs aren't cutting the mustard as far as paying for the bandwidth and hosting, he could market adspace on the gallery admin and visitor pages: he has two competitive advantages here:

1) a ton of referrer information coming in from the direct-link requests for embedded pages: if used to produce subject information (via google or some other topical indexing service) this is marketing gold -- or at least a pretty good grade of marketing molybdenum;

2) the ads won't repel many many users (if they have any sense) because the direct-link images will still show up where they're supposed to, ad-free.

Intelligentlly handled, he actually have a nice win-win business model here.
posted by George_Spiggott at 12:09 PM on January 26, 2004


I switched a couple images on my weblog from PhotoIsland to PhotoBucket. I've refreshed multiple times, and Bucket's show up immediately. PhotoIsland images are often slow (or no) to load.

I'm happy. Sure, I should be professional and get my own webspace sorted for image storage, but this is quick and easy (and I can update my blog from work with images with no need to FTP)
posted by Shane at 12:17 PM on January 26, 2004


PhotoIsland images are often slow (or no) to load.

Too true.

Thanks jonah.
posted by hama7 at 12:39 PM on January 26, 2004


Oh, man, I'm happy: Photoisland only allows 10 mb (Bucket = 100), they don't allow GIFs (requiring extra steps to convert GIFs to JPEGs, not to mention the just plain hassle of no GIFs), they require extra steps to attache a URL to an image (PhotoBucket automatically links), and PhotoIsland is slow to upload images (Bucket is basically froggin' instantaneous.) Plus, as mentioned, Island expires URLs every three months.

Hoo! Happy happy Shane!
posted by Shane at 12:42 PM on January 26, 2004


He deletes porn? :(

Looks on the surface to be a great resource. Thanks for the heads-up.
posted by squealy at 12:43 PM on January 26, 2004


It looks like his hosting is through CI host, which doesn't seem to have bandwidth limits, so I'm sure that helps. I'm suspicious of what unlimited bandwidth really means though.

I agree that he seems like a genuinely nice guy, he is really positive in the forums. I hope he can maintain the success he seems to be having.
posted by jonah at 1:38 PM on January 26, 2004


Another cool thing about photobucket is that you can transfer an image to your gallery just by entering the URL instead of loading an image from your hard drive. It does a remote transfer for you instead of downloading it yourself and backing it up.
posted by jonah at 1:45 PM on January 26, 2004


uh huh. and this person with a whole lot of cash, what do they get out of it? - quonsar

Remember Hotmail? Microsoft bought it for hundreds of millions. It's not implausible that someone would pay a lot for a well established free service in hopes to make money from it. Hotmail is a perfect example. The key term is "established" service.

Surely, quonsar, you remember Filo and Yang at Stanford in 94. Index of the web? What do they get out of it? (Yahoo!)

(No, I'm not saying that this is a perfect plan, or even that it is his plan. It's just not impossible for something that is "free" for now to become a money maker later).
posted by tomplus2 at 1:50 PM on January 26, 2004


It's very quick and idiot-free.

Thanks a lot, jonah!
posted by MiguelCardoso at 3:16 PM on January 26, 2004


See also: Free Webhosts.
posted by hama7 at 4:05 PM on January 26, 2004


It looks like his hosting is through CI host, which doesn't seem to have bandwidth limits, so I'm sure that helps. I'm suspicious of what unlimited bandwidth really means though.

Alex says:
interesting watching the posts on there. I wish I got unlimited bandwidth through cihost. I have 20+ servers and pay for all my bandwidth. unlimited bandwidth is never what they say it is, there are always some restrictions ;-)
-Shane
posted by Shane at 4:10 PM on January 26, 2004


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